Foellinger Foundation announces $1M grant to Allen County Public Library for Summer Learning Program

From left to right, Michael Horton, Greta Southard, Kathryn Roudebush, Cheryl Taylor, the president of the Foellinger Foundation, and Jim Williams, President of the Allen County Public Library board, react at the announcement that the Foellinger Foundation is granting $1 million to the Summer Learning Program. (Courtesy photo)

The Foellinger Foundation on Tuesday announced a $1 million grant to provide three-year support to the Summer Learning Program. The Allen County Public Library (ACPL) program is designed to serve as a bridge between school sessions, maintaining educational skills for all young people who are most at risk, thus preventing the “summer slide.”

Since 1994, The Foellinger Foundation has granted $4.7 million in support of the program.

Research shows that students, who do not engage in learning activities over the summer, slide behind their peers when they re-enter school in the fall.

The Foellinger Foundation supports effective organizations that work to strengthen children and families. The Summer Learning Program has made a significant impact by doing this in our community. Some highlights from 2017 include:

• 51,000 hours of reading recorded

• 27,000 children, teens and adults registered for the program

• 16,500 free lunches and snacks were served

• 5,200 participants in Camp Library programs

• 4,868 youth reached by Team Read at 22 sites

• 95% of survey respondents reported their child maintained or increased their reading skills

“The Summer Learning Program creates a community of lifelong learners and encourages family literacy,” said Cheryl Taylor, Foellinger Foundation President. “We are proud to support the program as it has become one of Foellinger Foundation’s Signature Grants.”

In addition to reaching young children and families, the Summer Learning Program also employs teens as a part of Team Read. This component offers teens an income, social and soft skills, communication training, financial literacy and many more valuable skills.